RTÉ has gathered a host of celebrity names to help in its quest for Ireland’s favourite painting. The idea is based on the show entitled ‘Masterpiece: Ireland’s Favourite Painting’, which aired on RTÉ One on Tuesday April 17, and was hosted by veteran broadcaster Mike Murphy.
RTÉ and Yellow Asylum Films visited Ireland’s galleries and got curators and experts to nominate their favourite paintings. The general public was then called upon to nominate their favourite paintings, and the shortlist was whittled down to 10 paintings in total. The general public can now vote on their favourite painting at www.rte.ie/masterpiece. The winning painting will be announced by President Michael D. Higgins on May 24.
Ten Irish celebrities, including actors and television personalities, have each chosen one of the shortlisted paintings to champion, and will campaign for a win on a number of RTÉ shows over the coming weeks.
First up is ‘The Voice of Ireland’ coach Sharon Corr and ‘Father Ted’ star Ardal O’Hanlon, who will both feature on ‘The Works’ on RTÉ One tonight. Sharon is advocating Frederic William Burton’s ‘Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting on The Turret Stairs’. The painting is currently on show at the National Gallery in Dublin. Ardal will champion the ‘Wall of Light Orange Yellow’, by Sean Scully.
‘Titanic’ star Maria Doyle Kennedy has chosen to promote ‘The Artist’s Studio’ by John Lavery, while ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys’ creator Brendan O’Carroll will campaign for ‘The Eve of St Agnes’ by Harry Clarke.
Sarah Ryder, of RTÉ Arts and Factual, says of the voting campaign, “The ‘Masterpiece: Ireland’s Favourite Painting’ campaign is not just a television campaign but an RTÉ-wide campaign which has been designed to draw attention to the visual arts in this country. Galleries are already reporting positively about visitor reaction to the campaign and the Masterpiece website has been visited over 61,000 times. One only has to look at the comments on the website, and the debates about the paintings on the internet, to see that the public has truly embraced the spirit of the initiative.”
RTÉ Radio will air a number of ‘Masterpiece’ items over the coming weeks. Voting is now open at www.rte.ie/masterpiece. ‘The Works’ airs on RTÉ One tonight at 11.10pm.